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NaVi, Team Liquid move on at BLAST Premier World Final

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Natus Vincere and Team Liquid won Friday and moved on in the lower bracket of the $1 million BLAST Premier World Final in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Natus Vincere (NaVi) got past G2 Esports 2-1 while Liquid earned a 2-0 sweep of Astralis. G2 and Astralis were eliminated from the competition.

The two clubs will square off Saturday, with the winner advancing to the lower-bracket final to take on the loser of the upper-bracket final between Gambit Esports and Team Vitality.

NaVi, winners of last month’s Fall Finals, fell into the lower bracket after a surprise loss to Liquid in the opening round, so Saturday’s rematch will give NaVi an opportunity for revenge.

Eight teams are competing in a double-elimination bracket for the season-ending championship. All matches are best-of-three, and the winning team will receive $500,000.

NaVi beat G2 16-14 on Nuke, but G2 took the next map (Inferno) into overtime before pulling out a 22-19 win. The decisive map, Mirage, was far less close, with NaVi running away with a 16-4 victory.

Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev of Ukraine racked up 88 kills and a sparkling plus-32 kills-to-deaths differential for NaVi. Russians Denis “electronic” Sharipov and Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy added 60 and 55 kills, respectively. G2’s Nikola “NiKo” Kovac and Nemanja “huNter-” Kovac of Bosnia and Herzegovina had 64 kills apiece.

Liquid opened with a 16-9 victory over Astralis on Dust II before holding on 16-13 on Mirage.

All five Liquid players finished with positive differentials, led by Brazilian Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo’s plus-12 on 38 kills. Canadian Keith “NAF” Markovic posted a match-high 40 kills for Liquid. Benjamin “blameF” Bremer of Denmark carried Astralis with 39 kills.

The tournament continues Saturday with two matches:

Gambit Esports vs. Team Vitality, upper-bracket final
Natus Vincere vs. Team Liquid, lower-bracket round 3

BLAST Premier World Final prize pool:
1. $500,000 — TBD
2. $250,000 — TBD
3. $120,000 — TBD
4. $50,000 — TBD
5-6. $25,000 — G2 Esports, Astralis
7-8. $15,000 — Heroic, Ninjas in Pyjamas

–Field Level Media

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